Whether you are getting a puppy or an older dog you want your dog to know certain commands so that you are in control of it at all time. Learning how to train your dog to sit is going to be an important first lesson for them to learn.
With both of my dogs it was probably the easiest thing to train them to do. They caught onto the fact that they got treats for sitting quickly and even now when they want something they sit down in anticipation that you might share whatever you are eating with them.
Reward Based Training is a great way to train your dog as you only recognise and reward good behaviour. If they sit when you tell them then they get a treat – simple as that!
When Should You Train Your Dog to Sit?
I would recommend training your dog to sit from a puppy. Much like kids learn faster than adults it will be the same for your puppy. Getting them into good habits when they are young is great for both them, you and your household.
How to Train Your Dog to Sit
There are some specific ways you can teach your dog to sit which is going to make the process easier for you and for your dog. These are all detailed in the steps below.
Note: When training your dog, don’t expect to spend the entire day training them to do everything you want them to do. Dogs get bored easily, so short 10-minute training sessions work quite well.
Make sure you have lots of tasty treats. Small treats are best and really tasty/smelly ones seem to keep their attention and desire for the treat.
Show your dog the treat and then hold it up their nose/head so that they need to look up and naturally then will sit down (as this is the only way they can get the treat). Move it further back over their head if you need to. If you dog jumps up or tries to grab the treat, take a second and start again. You will need to practice this process as they may not get it first time.
As soon as your dog is about to sit you can either use a clicker or say sit so that they associate the action of sitting with the word sit (or the clicker noise). As they get more familiar with sitting for a treat you should be able to hold the treat and say sit and then give them their treat.
If your dog is not interested in the treats but loves toys, then you could try teaching sit with their favourite toy.
Keep practising. Some dogs will get it quickly and others will take a while. Don’t make the training sessions too long, just keep regularly practising with your dog and make sure everyone in your house is using the same technique with them.
What Not to Do When Teaching Your Dog to Sit
Never shout at your dog. Some dogs will take longer to learn to sit than others. Keep training sessions short and break it up for them. Yelling at your dog will not make them learn to sit any quicker.
Never push their behind down. Never push on your dog to make them sit. This isn’t teaching them to learn to sit. Instead keep repeating the process with the treat and eventually they will get it.
Why Won’t My Dog Sit for Me?
It may be that your dog is easily distracted. Make sure that you are teaching them in a quiet environment. If the kids are running around, eating their dinner or watching TV then it might seem more fun to your dog to join in with that.
Maybe your dog is not food motivated. If you dog isn’t interested in the treats you could try another type of treat or you could try training them with a toy instead. Some dogs are crazy for a tennis ball and this might be the perfect training tool.
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